Okay, I am totally stressed out and I need your help. Do you want to know how many emails I have in my inbox at work? 1,197. Yes, you read that right. Over one thousand emails in my inbox. In that one thousand are probably about forty that require my attention. The question is, how do I identify those forty? I really can’t even tell you how I managed to amass such a ridiculous number of emails. It started when I was on maternity leave. I came back to over a thousand emails in my inbox and couldn’t find the time to make my way through it.
The emails continued to flow in each day, and I never managed to make a huge dent in the backlog. As the months have gone on, I have kept steady — take care of most new emails, dig into the backlog, some new emails build up, and at the end of the day I’m still at 1,100+.
Did I mention this is causing me a lot of stress? Sometimes, I consider just deleting everything (declaring email bankruptcy) and starting fresh.
But, I worry about those forty messages hiding in there that require my attention or contain some important information.
I’m really not sure what to do. How can I find time to go through over a thousand emails? Even if I do just delete everything, how can I keep on top of my emails moving forward? How can I reach the nirvana of a clear inbox?
What is your strategy for keeping control of your inbox? Do you file things into folders? Archive everything? Delete things quickly? Respond immediately? Help!